Australian athletics' sustained growth and subsequent success has been recognized globally, with World Athletics today announcing Athletics Australia as the recipient of its prestigious 'Member Federation of the Year' award.

Athletics Australia is the national governing body for the sport of athletics and is the only organization recognized as such by World Athletics and the Australian Olympic Committee. Indeed, World Athletics has recognized and awarded Athletics Australia out of 214 member Federations worldwide, informed the organisation.

Athletics Australia has had a golden year. It began by bringing international cross-country to regional New South Wales (southeast Australia), with the World Athletics Cross Country World Championships in Bathurst, organized in conjunction with Athletics NSW. It was there, on the rugged terrain of Mount Panorama, that Australia's 4x2km Mixed Relay Team clung on to bronze on home soil.

Just a few days later, the first Gold level World Athletics Continental Tour Oceania meet was held with the inaugural Maurie Plant Meet - Melbourne, which saw Lakeside Stadium packed with over 6000 cheering fans and a global TV audience tuned in to see the world's best athletes take to the stage.

The success did not stop at Oceania. Australia finished the World Athletics Championships in Budapest with a record six medals (including the gold medal won by Nina Kennedy) and at the World Para-Athletics Championships, James Turner and Maria Strong were crowned world champions.

"We are honored to receive this award from World Athletics. This recognition is a testament to the cohesive efforts of our athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers, stakeholders and our staff who contribute to the success and growth of athletics in our nation," said Jane Flemming in a Press Release recently.

In addition, the President of Athletics Australia expressed her commitment to the sport: "We are committed to driving our sport forward, nurturing talent and fostering a vibrant athletics community for future generations, making a real difference to the health, fitness and wellbeing of our nation, and the door is open to those who want to contribute to this movement".

He also spoke out about the important year ahead at the Olympic and Paralympic level for Australia: "On the eve of another year of Olympic and Paralympic Games, now is the time to get involved in athletics. Whether it's following the stories and journeys of our athletes aiming for Paris, participating in a club near you or signing up for a fun run, there's something for everyone in the sport."

Also, the President and Australian and Commonwealth Games heptathlon record holder, spoke about the growth of sport and the need for support to continue to grow: "As we grow, we also urge Australian business to support athletics. Athletics has a lot to offer, but support from the nation is critical to prepare our athletes to take on the world and inspire all Australians to walk, run, jump, throw or roll towards a healthier lifestyle. Together we can push our athletes from the most basic levels through to the Olympic and Paralympic Games to achieve even more success and inspire future generations."